open source software press events

arkuat (
Sun, 12 Apr 1998 22:42:04 -0700

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From: Thom Stark <>
Subject: [Pigdog] Sum it..
Date: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 04:56:17 -0700 (PDT)

So there's this lo-o-ong table set up in a conference room at the Garden
Court Hotel in Plow Alto and arrayed along it are (amongst others) Jamie
Zawinski (the guy who footed the bill for the Mozilla Dot Party last
week) and Tom Paquin of, Paul Vixie, the developer of BIND,
Brian Behlendorf, one of the developers of Apache, Eric Allman, the guy
behind sendmail, Larry Wall, the benevolent god of Perl, Guido van
Rossum, the somewhat-less-benevolent demigod of Python, John Gilmore,
founder of (among other things) the alt.* newsgroup hierarchy, the EFF,
The Little Garden and Cygnus Solutions, Phil Zimmermann (with a magic
markered-in second "n" on his nameplate), John Ousterhout, the man who
created Tcl and Tk, Eric Raymond, author of "The Cathedral and the
Bazaar", the white paper that was intrumental in convincing Netscape to
release its source code, Linus Torvalds and other luminaries, all gathered
around Tim O'Reilly, who's acting as ringmaster for the collection of
computer industry trade journal wankers in suits who've been invited to
question these luminaries at the end of the first-ever Freeware Summit.

And what, you might wonder, did these business-suited nitwits clamor to
ask this jaw-dropping conglomeration of brainiacs?

"So, how do you expect to make any money, if you give your software away
for free?"

"No, really--how do you expect to make money?"

"Uh--how are you going to convince IS managers to take you seriously, if
you give your software away?"

"I mean it--why should they take you seriously? You're not IBM or DEC
or Oracle, after all."

"How do you expect to compete against Microsoft?"

"Seriously, how are you going to compete against Microsoft?"

"No, but listen--how are you going to compete against Microsoft?"

This crap went on for almost 90 minutes (I have most of it on audio tape,
if anyone's interested). It's a damned good thing I don't carry firearms
to these things, or InfoWorld, et al, would have help-wanted signs out
right now.

At least there was a nice opportunity to go one-on-one with the good guys
after the formal press conference broke up. I found out that Larry Wall
is planning on getting Perl 5.1 out the door by August, and that it will
include stable multithreading, Unicode support and other goodies. I also
found out that Linus runs Red Hat on his own desktop. And that Paul
Vixie is even more paranoid than Zach--and is certain that SAIC is behind
the so-called Green Paper on the New Domain Order.

Other interesting stuff happened, too, but I'm very tired now, so I'm
going to bed..


Thom Stark

Email: URL:
PGP public key:

(510) 526-9600 voice STARK REALITIES fax (510) 526-9063
POB 457 El Cerrito, CA ZIP 94530-0457

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